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Recommended reading

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st0nes
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« Reply #60 on: March 10, 2010, 12:40:41 PM »

...bugs grew MASSIVE Shocked  Dragon flies ancestors with a wingspan of almost one metre!
I do not wish to know that.
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Brian
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I think therefor I am, I think


« Reply #61 on: April 23, 2010, 12:57:07 PM »

Excuse my shallow attempt to increase sales of my own book: "Moses was a Liar" which, while it's fiction, has a serious underlying message concerning the human disease, I call mysticism, i.e. "Mysticism and its attendant practices – which include religion, and political activities creates its own “realities”, e.g. false standards, guilt where no guilt exists, external deities and magic powers.
Mysticism is the ultimate primacy of emotions over reality and reason and when the human need for ‘ekstasis’ overrides reality and reason, one enters the realm of the unreal and indeed of the actual surrender of man’s mind to the ceremonial reverence of objects, deities, visions and external influence. Primitive man used emotions to create his own ‘platonic reality’ (Reality is what the mind thinks or imagines ).
Homo dialogicus (reasoning or thinking man) on the other hand reflects a critical consciousness which explains man’s capacity to reason and question anything in terms of its opposite. It implies that s/he can question issues of importance, evaluate alternatives and make choices of his/her own. Such a mind is light years away from the mind of primitive man who relies on imagination but does not grasp the implications that he does so and who creates an own reality, a false reality." (an extract from the Preface "Moses was a Liar" Raider Books NY 2009)
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Barryl
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« Reply #62 on: May 26, 2010, 12:17:47 PM »

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Please post any interesting books or links that influenced you.

I have just completed studying (you can not just read it) Atheism Advanced by Dr David Eller, which has placed Religion (belief systems) and Atheism in perspective for me. It convinced me that atheists will find it difficult to reason (rationally) with believers; mainly because of the emotional component of religion.
I suggest this book "a must read", especially for us skeptics.

Barryl
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Barryl
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« Reply #63 on: May 26, 2010, 12:28:13 PM »

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Please post any interesting books or links that influenced you


In Remembrance of Martin Gardner, Founder of Modern Skepticism:SkepticsSociety@skeptic.com Subject: Martin Gardner (1914 - 2010)

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Barryl
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« Reply #64 on: May 26, 2010, 12:34:51 PM »

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Please post any interesting books or links that influenced you.

I can recommend the book: "Philosophers Without Gods" (Meditations on Atheism and The secular Life) by Louise M. Antony

This book is collection of essays by prominent philosophers and it just lights up the various facets of atheism for me.

Barryl
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benguela
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An infinitesimal subset of the observable universe


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« Reply #65 on: December 14, 2010, 09:30:30 AM »

Reading "What on Earth Evolved? ... in Brief" by Christopher Lloyd and while listening to Lee Ritenour's "6 String Theory" and "Smoke n Mirrors" (thanks SteveMuso)

aaahhhh, now that's the life Smiley

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Faerie
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« Reply #66 on: December 14, 2010, 09:50:42 AM »

For the scientific illiterate (i.e. me), I'm thouroughly enjoying Pratchett's "Science of Diskworld" - drawing corrolations between the fantasy and reality is a wonderful method of explaining science to the stupid. There are three books in the series, I'm on the second one, and am actually understanding what is being explained.
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st0nes
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« Reply #67 on: December 14, 2010, 10:21:51 AM »

I heartily recommend Richard Feynman's Surely you're joking, Mr Feynman for a humourous insight into how the scientific mind differs from the ordinary.
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Philosophers?  Those guys are really lame.
Also Who cares what other people think from the same author.  About half the book is about the Challenger enquiry.  Feynman was the one who figured out that the rubber O-rings became brittle in the cold.
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murraybiscuit
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« Reply #68 on: December 14, 2010, 14:03:51 PM »

I heartily recommend Richard Feynman's Surely you're joking, Mr Feynman for a humourous insight into how the scientific mind differs from the ordinary.

yeah. loved that book. what a legend.
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Mefiante
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« Reply #69 on: December 14, 2010, 21:44:09 PM »

Feynman was the one who figured out that the rubber O-rings became brittle in the cold.
I fear you do Feynman’s scientific stature a grave disservice by omission.  The man not only stood on the shoulders of giants, he was a singular giant among giants.

'Luthon64
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st0nes
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« Reply #70 on: December 14, 2010, 21:59:47 PM »

I fear you do Feynman’s scientific stature a grave disservice by omission.  The man not only stood on the shoulders of giants, he was a singular giant among giants.

'Luthon64
If I wrote a 1000 page monograph on his works I would be guilty of the charge you lay.  How much has been written about QED, and he had the whole damn thing on his T-shirt?
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beLIEf
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« Reply #71 on: June 22, 2011, 19:08:55 PM »

for all you Atheist foodies out there....? Can't just be me....  "In the Devil's Garden" A Sinful History of Forbidden Food by Stewart Lee Allen.
In chapters of the 7 sins, with recipes and manages to be thought provoking and hilarious. With random yet awesome info about things like why catholics thought we shouldn't eat tomatoes and what the manna from heaven really was, also some interesting facts about chocolate and dildos.
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Wandapec
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« Reply #72 on: July 16, 2011, 12:09:38 PM »

It's not really reading but I have just watched 'Horison:What on Earth Is Wrong with Gravity?' with Brian Cox. Very informative, and I enjoy him as a presenter.
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Faerie
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« Reply #73 on: January 26, 2016, 09:38:32 AM »

Im in search of new authors and subject matter, fiction and non.

List your five favourites so that I can go shop please.....

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brianvds
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« Reply #74 on: January 26, 2016, 11:23:33 AM »

Im in search of new authors and subject matter, fiction and non.

List your five favourites so that I can go shop please.....


Not all that recent a read, but one that comes to mind is "Fruit of a poisoned tree," by Antony Altbeker. It is a report on the investigation and court case following on the infamous Inge Lotz murder. It initially seemed like an open-and-shut case: the initial evidence seemed to point absolutely unambiguously to her boyfriend Fred van der Vyver.

The book then follows the story as the defense systematically dismantles the charges until the judge eventually concludes that not only is there not enough evidence for a guilty verdict; the evidence indicates that it could not possibly have been Van der Vyver. In short: much of the evidence was planted by the police. Or so says the book.

It might sound like a boring read, but it isn't.

"The Emperor of all Maladies" by Siddhartha Mukherjee is about the history of cancer research, and is quite fascinating. Of note for skeptics is just how often the research went off the rails when scientific method was abandoned.

I'm reluctant to recommend fiction because I read mostly the pulpiest of pulp fiction, leaving high literature to souls with more between their ears than I have.

Some recent reads:

"Black House" by Stephen King and Peter Straub, a sequel to "The Talisman," but in my opinion not nearly as good.

"Pompeii" by Thomas Harris is set in the eponymous city in the days before and during the famous volcanic eruption; I found it an entertaining and well researched read, but once again hardly high literature.

"Hannibal," another installment in the "Silence of the Lambs" series, focuses quite a bit on Dr. Lecter himself, who turns out to be a man of astonishing intellectual gifts and actually rather likable. Also, it has a somewhat surprising and completely different ending from the not-so-good film that was based on it.

Read any of the late, great Iain M. Banks' Culture novels that you have not read yet. They're all great, if SF is your thing.
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